Laminate Flooring After Care Guide

Offering the combined benefits of a premium look, hard-wearing build and great value for money, laminate flooring is a popular choice. What’s more is that it is easy to maintain so is a great fuss-free option for busy homes. Use our after care tips to keep your floor looking as good as new for years to come.

1. How to maintain laminate flooring

2. Cleaning laminate flooring

3. Repairing laminate flooring

4. Safety advice

1. Laminate flooring maintenance

Do you need to wax or polish laminate flooring?

No. Unlike real wood floors, laminate does not require any treatment or use of waxes and polishes.

In fact, polishing a laminate floor can make the surface slippery and unsafe. Furthermore, applying wax can dull the laminate finish and make them appear worn. These problems can also apply to cleaning chemicals so always check the label before using.

Will furniture leave dents on laminate floors?

Furniture should not leave any indentations on laminate flooring but it is recommended that any heavy items are lifted into place rather than by being dragged or pushed along the floor. This reduces the chance of the flooring being scratched unnecessarily.

Many people also opt to fit casters with felt pads or rubber mats on the underside of furniture for added protection and this is especially advisable with heavier items such as dining tables and three-piece suites.

Do I need to lay underlay with laminate floors?

Using underlay is recommended as it can help to extend the life of laminate floors; it creates a versatile yet solid base on which to lay the flooring and provides a damp proof membrane to prevent moisture ingress.

This is especially important in upstairs rooms or flats as it will limit noise and vibrations that can occur when walking on laminate but you should remember there are different types of underlay available to enhance comfort, improve noise resistance and removes imperfections from the sub floor so choose wisely.

2. Cleaning laminate flooring

Laminate floors require regular cleaning to keep them in top condition while any damage to the boards or planks can often be repaired or replaced to give you the perfect appearance.

Loose debris and dirt should be removed from your laminate floor regularly using either a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner with a suitable attachment.

For a deeper clean, you should wash your floors semi-regularly with a soft, damp cloth or a well wrung out mop . Use warm water mixed with a laminate-safe detergent and ensure you never soak or wet the floor’s surface as this can cause damage. You should ensure any liquid spills are cleaned immediately and ensure the floor is thoroughly dried out afterwards. Never use a steam mop on laminate flooring.

As mentioned above, no wax is required when cleaning laminate floors as this can actually dull the surface and increase the risk of trips or falls. The shiny top surface of your laminate will reappear once it has been cleaned so give your floor time to dry and don’t panic.

When spills occur, you should try to wipe them up as soon as possible with a soft cloth or sponge. Again, use as little water as you can and always wring out the mop or cloth before applying it to the floor.

What cleaning products should I use on laminate floors?

Not all cleaning products are suitable for your laminate flooring and some could damage it if you are not careful. If you want to use a commercial cleaner then it is important to check the label thoroughly before use to ensure it is suitable.

Soap-based detergents, steam cleaners or abrasive cleaners should also be avoided as they can damage the shiny top layer of your flooring while liquid can seep into the gaps between flooring planks and cause further problems.

If your floor is stained then try using nail polish or acetone to remove it rather than scouring pads or steel wool which will damage the surface of your laminate and could even mark it permanently. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess acetone solution to renew your flooring’s glossy finish.

3. Repairing laminate flooring

Some damage to laminate floors can be repaired including small scratches and indents. If your floor suffers this type of damage then kits can be purchased in a variety of colours to repair the flooring by effectively filling the gap.

Putty or wax is used to fill the scratch before excess is wiped way and allowed to dry with the end result matching the original colour of the floor as closely as possible.

Can you replace laminate floorboards without removing the whole floor?

One of the benefits of laminate flooring is the fact it is a “floating floor”. This means the boards are not sealed or glued to the subfloor but lock together and “float” above the subfloor instead. Book a free home consultation expert advice, or learn how to lay laminate flooring by taking a look at our handy DIY Guide.

An added benefit of this feature is the fact that floorboards can be removed and replaced without reinstalling or replacing the entire floor. For larger indents or other marks, simply remove the damaged floorboard and replace with a new one, matching any patterns on the flooring as best as you can.

Depending on how long your laminate flooring has been fitted you may notice that the replacement panel appears to be a slightly different shade to the rest of the floor. Giving your floor a thorough clean can contribute towards reducing this and your new panel will soon blend in after a few weeks or months of use.

4. Safety Advice

Laminate flooring is designed to be safe and practical for any home. However, it is still important that you take necessary precautions and understand how to guarantee safety with your new laminate floors.

Is laminate flooring fire resistant?

Laminate flooring is designed to provide a certain level of heat resistance in the event of fire. All products at Carpetright are fire tested for safety but you should still avoid exposing the floors to excessive temperatures or naked flames.

Is laminate flooring slippery?

Liquid spillages which are left untreated pose a particular hazard so always clear these up as soon as they occur. Polishing or waxing laminate flooring can also make the surface more slippery, not to mention dull the look of the laminate’s finish, so you should never use these products on your laminate flooring.

You should also be aware that any items placed on top of the laminate flooring could move or slide on the surface if not secured. Rugs are the most obvious example so ensure that any rugs or mats you add to rooms with laminate flooring have a non-slip, rubber backing or are fitted on top of non-slip rug underlay.

You should also ensure rugs are only placed in areas of the room where they will not present a trip or fall hazard. This means keeping them clear of entrances and doorways and ensuring they lay flat on the floor with no upturned edges. They should also be placed slightly away from furniture to avoid them getting caught beneath them or having their edges turned up.

Visit our guide section for laminate flooring and get all the advice you need such as buying guides, after care guides and how to guides.